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Finance committee debates program cuts for 2014

YATES COUNTY—The Yates County finance committee debated the wording of a draft letter to all county funded programs requesting them to begin seeking additional cuts for the 2014 budget during their meeting Wednesday, Feb. 6. County Administrator Sarah Purdy said the intent of the letter is to put the word out early in the year so they are able to work collaboratively in time to start the budget process. She said she wanted the letter to alert program heads “of the potential for significant cuts for 2014 of 10 percent or more.”
Legislator Douglas Paddock said he suggests the county ask that further cuts be considered as well. He said they should report back with the impacts a 10 percent, 20 percent, 50 percent and 100 percent cut would be to the county. Paddock said the county should look at all possibilities so they have some parameters to work from.
Committee Chairman Tim Dennis said while not all agencies will have an equal percentage cut, they need to know early in the year what the situation is so they can prioritize their resources. He stressed the need for the letter to be sent out soon.
“We need to be prepared for what the maximum would be,” Legislator Leslie Church said. “We can’t sugarcoat it anymore.”
Dennis said he recommends they look at all levels of cuts, and the program heads make the case for why their funding should be at that level. County Chairman Taylor Fitch said their boards need to know next year is not going to be the same.
“There is a chance that we wouldn’t cut, but that chance is very, very, very slim,” Dennis said.
In other business:
• Purdy said after processing several budget transfers while trying to close out 2012, the county will have more money left over from 2012 than previously expected. She said it allows the county to finish the year with a little more going into the fund balance.
• Dennis said the county will establish an infrastructure capital reserve fund of $600,000. he said this will be done with two separate resolutions, one to establish the fund and the other one to actually fund it.





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